With spring marathons in mind many of you are now fully into your training plan’s and I hope well on the way to a successful year of running.
January generally brings us plenty of tough challenges, starting with Benfleet 15, this would be hard on a pleasant spring day, but with snow showers and wind, it’s a battle, and one you feel once begun you have to use all your inner strength physically and mentally to get through, so well done Frank Gardiner, Luke Groves and Charlie Keitch for completing it and a nice bronze standard in a new age category for Charlie.
Lee Clarkson wasn’t content with our snow flurries to run in so took a trip to Norway and ran the Tromso Polar night half, and completed the snow laden course in less than 2 hours, terrific running Lee.
Another two marathons completed by Paul Blackwell, and now closing in on the 150, with just a dozen to go, which is an amazing amount of marathons to run.
Onto the mud and fun of XC, the Essex champs took place at Notley Park, Paul Connell, Paul Hollidge, Frank, Charlie, Adam Smith and Russ took on the hilly course over the longer distance of 12km. Well done to Adam returning to the form we see last year and finishing as 1st Bentley in 47th place. Charlie has then gone on to complete the Southern XC champs in Brighton, this is 15km over a tough undulating muddy course, well done for taking this one on Charlie.
Our best result of the season was achieved at the 4th instalment of the series in Ipswich, 3rd place is fantastic, and with 8 men finishing inside the top 62 shows just how strong we are.
25 of you took on the course with 11 now having ran all 4 so far, some great positional improvements were made by David Wright, Ryan Day, Mark Jasper, Paul Connell, Paul Hollidge, John Booty, and Martin West. What a debut to XC this season from Tim Ballard turning his improved road running form into a brilliant 50th place finish.
Our next event is on the 18th February at Hadleigh, this is a two lap course with one long hill x2, one steep short hill x2, and one hell of a fast downhill finish, muddy it will be, plenty of grip you will need. I hope you can continue to turn out in mass, we are holding on to 5th but with still a lot of work to do for us to stay in pool A.
Our annual XC meal has been booked at El Guaca in Colchester on the 23rd March, so if you can make it please either respond to the invitation on facebook or email Luke Groves to confirm.
The main event for the club is just a few days away, if you are running then have a fantastic race, we are well known for showing great support to all who do, and you get an extra buzz having so many shout and cheer you round.
For those helping out, do make sure you know exactly what your role is, wear plenty of layers and take a flask if you are out on the course for some time. Unfortunately due to work commitments I won’t be there but I hope all involved have a great day.
One young man stands out for me, it’s been great to see him getting back to his best, he has ran them all so far at 53-12 and began the month with an excellent run at the Essex XC Champs, he went on to finish Ipswich XC in his highest position for this season 22nd, and was our 1st man home.
He has a lot of talent and is comfortable running on any surface and at any distance as he proved at the 100km race in 2016.
He has the ability to take up a number of positions on the GBRC all-time top ten, very down to earth, and just gets on with being the best he can, well done and Congratulations to Adam Smith